Mar 172013

Irish Soda BreadSources :

Ingredients for 8:
2,5 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1,25 cup Bread Flour
3 tbs sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup currants or raisins
4 tbs cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 large egg

The “real” Irish soda bread consists simply of Irish “wholemeal” flour (equivalent to a coarse grind of our American whole wheat flour), baking soda, salt and buttermilk. At the other end of the spectrum is Americanized Irish soda bread, a white, sweet, cake-like confection filled with raisins or currants and caraway seeds.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, and currants or raisins. Using a mixer, a pastry fork or blender, or your fingers, cut in the butter until evenly distributed and no large chunks remain.
In a separate bowl (or in a measuring cup) whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. The dough will be stiff; if it’s too crumbly to squeeze together, add another tablespoon or two of buttermilk.
Knead the dough a couple of times to make sure it’s holding together, then shape it into a ball. Flatten the ball slightly, and place the loaf in a lightly greased 20cm round cake pan, or in a similar pan; it won’t spread much, so the pan doesn’t have to be large. Use a sharp knife to cut a 1cm deep cross, extending all the way to the edges, atop the loaf.
Bake the bread in a 200°C preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until it’s golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven, and brush the top with melted butter, if desired.

Notes :
Very tasty and soft. Good balance between sweet and sour.

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 Posted by at 16:30 UTC
Mar 172013

Liege syrupSources :

Ingredients for 150g:
800g Comice pears
400g Golden apples

Wash and dice the apples and pears. Place them (skin included) in a thick-bottomed pot with 1 tbs water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for about 3 hours. The fruits must have softened a lot.
Place them into a cloth-lined sieve above a large bowl, recover all the juice by pressing the fruit well. Pour this juice into a clean pot, cook over low heat 2-3 hours (or even more, for the best caramelized results). The juice will thicken, turn into a dark and gelatinous syrup. It will thicken even more once it has cooled.
Pour into a small sterilised (either with boiling water or through 15 minutes in a 130°C oven) pot. Close the pot well, flip it onto its top to create a vacuum, and allow to cool. Then, store in a cool and dry place.
Once opened, will keep several days in the refrigerator.

Taste seems close enough to the original. Difficult to caramelize sufficiently without risking burning the syrup. Try with greater quantities next time for better result.

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 Posted by at 16:00 UTC
Mar 162013

Eggs with Sauteed Portobellos, Roasted Bell Pepper and Red OnionSource:

Ingredients for 2:
2 tsp olive oil, separated
4 eggs
1 roasted red bell pepper, sliced
2 large slices of red onion, quartered
6 baby Portobello mushrooms, washed and sliced
seasonings to taste (black pepper, sea salt, fresh thyme)

With 1 tsp olive oil, saute the onion pieces and mushroom slices for about 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat.
Toss in the sliced roasted red bell pepper and sprinkle with black pepper, sea salt and thyme. Continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes, until bell pepper is heated through and the onion is just about translucent.
Plate, keep warm, and set aside.
Cook the eggs. (Try with vortex poached eggs.) Plate over your veggies and enjoy!


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 Posted by at 17:00 UTC
Mar 152013

Tofu Satay with Peanut SauceSource :

Ingredients for 4:
400-500g extra firm tofu, sliced to 8-12 slices
wooden skewers (as many as you have slices)
1 tsp grapeseed oil
¼ cup vegetable broth
½ cup coconut milk
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, crushed
1,5 tsp toasted sesame oil
½ cup hot water
¼ cup coconut milk
1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts (or ½ cup peanut butter)
2 tbs honey (or maple syrup)
2 tbs soy sauce
¼-½ tsp Sriracha sauce (optional)
1 cup cabbage, finely shredded
1 large handful mung bean sprouts
½ cup carrots, finely shredded
2 green onions, sliced
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbs toasted sesame oil

Whisk all marinade ingredients in a 20x30cm pan. Place tofu skewers in marinade and spoon marinade over the top of the tofu. Let stand for 1-2 hours at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate overnight.
While your tofu is marinating, make the sauce. Blend all sauce ingredients in blender until smooth. Taste adding salt and pepper if desired. Sauce may be heated in a small saucepan over medium-low heat or in the microwave if desired.
Toss all slaw ingredients together in a large bowl to coat, refrigerate until ready to use.
Heat a large non-stick skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan, and heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Place the tofu skewers in the pan and pour a little of the marinade over the top. Cook until tofu releases from the pan and is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Flip tofu skewer over and pour a little more of the marinade over the top. Cook about 4 minutes again checking for golden brown.
Serve tofu satay skewers over cabbage slaw with Peanut Sauce for dipping.

Notes :
Not bad, for tofu. Peanut sauce is definitely interesting.

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 Posted by at 17:00 UTC
Mar 122013

Waldorf Chicken SaladSource :

Ingredients for 6:
1 roasted chicken, cubed
1 lemons’ zest
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 large Granny Smith apples, cored, cut into 1cm cubes
2 cups red seedless grapes, halved if large
2 Tbs shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries
6 tbs plain full fat Greek yogurt

Combine all ingredients except yogurt and lettuce.
When ready to serve, combine each serving with approximately 1 heaping tbs yogurt. Stir well to combine.
Serve over lettuce of choice.

Notes :
Good! Do not overdo the seasoning, too much yogurt will drown the salad.

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 Posted by at 17:00 UTC
Mar 112013

Marineeritud praetud räimedSource :

Ingredients for 8:
600g Baltic herring fillets (Räimefileed – Clupea harengus membras), or sardines
2 large eggs
4 Tbs milk
200ml all-purpose or rye flour
oil, for frying
1L water
2 carrots
2 onions
10 black peppercorns
5 allspice berries
2 bay leaves
2 Tbs 30% vinegar
1.5 Tbs salt
2 Tbs caster sugar

A note on vinegar – we use the 30% proof vinegar to make this dish in Estonia. Use whatever neutral-tasting vinegar you have, adjusting the amount and aiming for the slightly vinegary marinade.

Fry the fish. Whisk the eggs with milk, dip fish fillets into the mixture, flesh side down. Press both sides of the fish into the flour, shaking off any extra flour.
Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a heavy frying pan until hot. Place the breaded fish fillets, flesh sides down, onto the pan and fry for a 2-3 minutes, until dark golden brown. Flip gently over and fry the skin side until golden brown. Transfer the cooked fish fillets into a large bowl.
Make the marinade. Peel and thinly slice the carrots and onion (I used my trusty Benriner mandoline slicer). Place the vegetables, peppercorns and allspice berries, bay leaves, salt and sugar into a medium-sized saucepan. Add the water and bring into a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the carrots are al dente or still have some bite to them. Taste for seasoning – add more salt or sugar, if necessary. The marinade should be quite salty and sugary to have enough potency to flavour the fried fish fillets.
Now add the vinegar and remove the pan from the heat. Again – you want the marinade to be vinegary to flavour the fish, but not so much that the resulting dish would be too vinegary. Let the marinade cool for a 10-15 minutes, then slowly pour the whole thing (including the carrots, onions and the seasoning) over the fried fish.
Cool completely, then cover and transfer into the fridge for at least 8-10 hours or overnight. These keep in a fridge for a week or so.

Serve with: dark rye bread or boiled potatoes

Notes :

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 Posted by at 17:00 UTC
Mar 102013

BibimbapSource :

Ingredients for 4:
200g beef (lean or fatty, to taste)
200g spinach (or green beans)
200g bean sprouts
200g carrots (or bell peppers)
200g mushrooms
4 eggs
280g short-grain rice
350ml beef stock (or vegetable stock)
2-3 cloves garlic
2 tbs chives, chopper
3-6 tsp sesame oil, to taste
salt, pepper
Beef marinade:
5 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp white wine
1 tsp sesame oil
Hot sauce:
40g Gochujang (fermented chili paste)
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
4 tsp sesame oil
4 tsp sesame seeds, grilled and crushed
6 tsp water (or pear juice)
Soy paste:
3 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs rice vinegar
1/2 tbs sugar
1 tbs sesame oil
Denjang sauce (Miso):
3 tbs Denjang (fermented soy paste)
1 tbs honey
3 tbs onion, chopped
100ml water

The 5 colors representing the 5 elements (water, earth, air, fire, metal), are incarnated by the rice’s white, egg yolk’s yellow, spinach’s green, carrots and peppers’ red, meat and mushrooms’ black. The elements are separated by color in the dish.

Wash the rice. Place in the stock, cook.
Blanch the bean sprouts in boiling salted water 5 minutes. Drain well. Season with chives, salt, pepper, crushed garlic and sesame oil.
Blanch the spinach in boiling salted water 1 minute. Drain well. Season with chives, salt, pepper, crushed garlic and sesame oil.
Cut the carrots to thin sticks. Sautee in a hot pan with a little oil. Salt and pepper. Prepare the mushrooms similarly, adding a little garlic.
Mince the meat. Marinate at least 30 minutes. Sautee quickly in a hot pan.
Separate the eggs’ yolks (individually) and whites. Cook the whites into an omelet, salt and pepper. Cut to strips. The yolk, either raw or barely cooked, will be placed alone in the dish.

Serve with: miso soup

Notes :
Very good.

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 Posted by at 17:00 UTC
Mar 102013

Asian Cabbage SlawSource :

Ingredients for 6 :
1 head green cabbage, sliced thin
½ red onion, sliced thin
½ red bell pepper, sliced thin
¼ cup cilantro, minced
2 Tbs basil, minced
1 Tbs light olive oil
1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
1 Tbs soy sauce (or Tamari)
½ tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp Sriracha
1 tsp red pepper flakes

In a large bowl toss the cabbage, onion, bell pepper, cilantro and basil together.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients.
About 2 hours before serving, toss the cabbage mixture with the dressing. It will wilt slightly as the flavors permeate.


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 Posted by at 16:30 UTC
Mar 092013

Creamy Black Beans with Melted OnionsSource :

Ingredients for 3 :
2 cups dry black turtle beans
4 cups beef broth
1 tbs olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp cumin
4 sprig fresh cilantro

Allow your beans to soak overnight by covering the dried beans with water, making sure there is an extra 2cm water above the beans, as you will find them plumped up the next morning.
Drain the soaking water the next day and discard it. Place beans in a heavy pot with beef broth, onion, cumin, olive oil and cilantro. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat and cover the pot partway with the lid, letting the ingredients simmer.
Low and slow is the name of the game here. Check and stir the beans occasionally. The beans will be done when they are soft and edible but not mushy with the liquid reduced to an almost gravy-like consistency, around an hour and a half to two hours.
Remove the cilantro sprigs and discard. Serve.

Serve with : polenta and sauteed vegetables

Notes :
Very good side dish.

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 Posted by at 17:00 UTC